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Historic bridge sends warning to the world

Photographer: Jamie Bellinger www.jamie.fm / jamie@bellinger.xyz

Extinction Rebellion Bath suspends shocking pink banners across the World Heritage site of Pulteney Bridge to call attention to the Climate Emergency and the lack of Government commitment to BUILD BACK GREEN.

Bath woke up on 16th July to find three giant pink banners strung across the river Avon at the World Heritage site of Pulteney Bridge, displaying CLIMATE CRISIS, WE’RE UP SH*T CREEK and BUILD BACK GREEN. The banners were hung alongside the weir at dawn today by Extinction Rebellion activists in kayaks.

A small team from Extinction Rebellion Bath planned the action to highlight the admission in the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report, published 25th June, that they are woefully short of meeting their own emissions targets by a long margin. The CCC report reveals a staggering lack of progress, with only two of 31 milestones being achieved and only four of the 21 vital measures on track for net zero emissions.

Ros Pears, who came up with the idea said: “We recognise some may be offended by the wording but we wanted a message that would make people sit up and take notice. Time is running out.  One of the world’s foremost energy experts has told us we have just six months to act or face catastrophic changes for our planet and every life form on it.”

Why and how did we do it? 

What drives a group of ordinary people down in the West Country to undertake a secret and risky mission in the middle of the night, to launch boats and paddle downriver in silence at dawn to escape detection, with a heavy cargo of tools and ladders, clamp themselves to the arches of an historic and iconic bridge and suspend huge banners across the full width of the river, within a few metres of a dangerous weir? We are just ordinary people of all ages driven to extraordinary measures through a united anger at the lack of action on climate change. We are mums and dads: a gardener, a builder, a sculptor, a maintenance man, a tour operator, a graphic designer.  A story about XR from the inside. 

“The team was careful not cause damage to the bridge. We recognise it’s a World Heritage monument but there is no heritage on a dead planet,” said Extinction Rebellion’s Mat Thomas. “As the Covid crisis continues we mustn’t forget the far larger and growing threat of climate breakdown.”

Along with economists and environmental campaigners worldwide, Bath’s Extinction Rebellion activists want to see the post-Covid economic reconstruction focussing on green jobs and technology which they believe will ultimately deliver more employment than current fossil fuel and carbon intensive jobs - and give us a more secure future on the planet.

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